Corey Parker prepares for 200th NRL game - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Corey Parker prepares for 200th NRL game

By Wayne Heming 11/05/2010 07:35:03 PM Comments (0)

He's got more hair and less beef than the bald headed teenager who scored a try on debut for Brisbane in 2001 but Corey Parker has proved himself to be one of rugby league's most adaptable players.

The 28 year-old forward, who has re-invented himself as the game has evolved, brings up his 200th NRL game against the Gold Coast on Friday night in close to the best form of his career.

"When I first started I had a shaved head and a slightly bigger frame but the game was different back then," said Parker.

"Andrew Gee was the player I parked myself beside and (Shane) Webcke wasn't far behind.

"Looking back I wouldn't want it any other way, they were two pretty fair guys to learn some traits off."

Parker said the athleticism and endurance of the players these days was a lot better than it was when he first started out.

The game isn't the only thing that has changed.

Parker has gone from a beefy 108kg goal-kicking prop, to a second-rower who played for Queensland to a mobile 80-minute lock who's now firmly back in the State of Origin picture again.

He's still playing alongside Darren Lockyer and has seen several star Broncos call it a day.

Parker said having spent all his time playing in the company of someone of the calibre of Lockyer had been "special".

"When I came into first grade 10 years ago playing alongside some of those guys I looked up to and had idolised as a young kid, a lot of those players are finished now," he said.

"To have played that whole time with Locky, you get to appreciate and respect the type of player he is playing alongside side him every week.

"All the young guys coming through now like the Corey Normans and Ben Hunts who are only 18, they're playing alongside Locky which is something they probably never thought they'd do and something which will prove invaluable for them and their careers.

Parker is keen to see out his career at the Broncos as a one club player and said reaching the 200 mark was a big moment.

"It's a huge milestone for me personally," said Parker.

"I've said it before, I live and breath the Broncos, it would be great to finish here."

Parker's switch from the back-row to lock in 2009 proved a masterstroke by coach Ivan Henjak.

He had an outstanding season as Brisbane climbed out of a deep hole to make the finals and was a unanimous choice as the club's player-of-the-year.

"Corey has been quite durable over the years," said Broncos coach Ivan Henjak.

"I think he was 108 kilos at one stage and looked like a fat rolly polly but now he's down to 98 kilos and is lean and mean.

"He's been durable and adaptable. The amount of work he can do and the minutes he plays, not many players can do that."

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